Sunday, 11 May 2008


When I was a little girl, I believed that the world consisted of children and adults (I also included dogs, cats, horses and cows). I regarded adults as people who had finished growing up. I imagined that when I finished growing up, I would marry and have several children. World War II had ended and my parents' general relief and new optimism meant I could relax, too, as my sensitive antennae tuned to the emotional vibes around me detected less stress. However, in some schools, students now practiced crouching under desks in order to know what to do in event of an atomic bomb landing nearby. I did worry about pleasing adults and about doing things the right way, which someone usually claimed to know and wanted to demonstrate.

As a little girl, I didn't imagine that adults can continue to mature, mellow and perhaps grow wise. I didn't imagine that adults might not have all the answers. I assumed that a magic transition to adulthood occurred at age 21 and that voting and drinking had something to do with it. Even though I got my driver's license at age 16, entitled to subject myself and passengers to the statistics of life-threatening experiences associated with driving, I recognised that my less-than-adult status would continue for another five years.

As a little girl, no one wondered what I wanted to be when I grew up. As the youngest daughter (with four siblings) in a family struggling to make ends meet in a small rural community, I couldn't begin to imagine the unexpected opportunities I would encounter and take: attending UC Berkeley in the 1960s, swirling through rock n' roll, traveling in Europe, having one child, learning to spin, weave and edit video, learning to be a single mother for a time, working for LucasFilm in the 1980s, marrying my soul mate, migrating to Australia, diving into the Internet, living long enough to look around and realise I've joined the elder crowd, still delighting in new answers.

The Road Ahead continues to lead to a future with aspects beyond my imagining.

Uncertainty carries seeds of fear. Like that little girl, when I feel anxiety around me about the future, I take heart in Signs of Hope along the way. How do I recognise Signs of Hope? I see them when I remember to look with my heart.

M in JaM (and photo by J)

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